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FunTimes Magazine

Go Fourth & Take a Sip of Summer

Jul 03, 2024 02:00PM ● By FunTimes Staff
Hosted by Wissahickon Brewing Company, Punchbuggy Brewing Company, and Home Brewed Events, the Made on American Street Festival Olde Kensington celebrated the best of Philly on May 18th. 

FunTimes Magazine
’s Culture + Entertainment
column, the week of July 1, 2024

“America is a tune. It must be sung together.” 

 — American Writer Gerald Stanley Lee (1862-1944)

Unless you are an astronomer, astronaut, or airplane pilot, looking up at the sky is not a daily habit. Except on July 4th when the sky’s the limit. That’s right, bring on the fireworks! On this patriotic holiday celebrating America’s independence and 248th birthday, the best events are the loud ones that sparkle! As the birthplace of the nation, Philly is first on the Fourth. So, happy Fourth, FunTimers!


Wawa Welcome America Concert Stars NE-YO & Fireworks

Thursday, July 4, 2024. Arguably, no one stages a better birthday bash than Wawa Welcome America. The Wawa Welcome America festival finale – a concert and fireworks display – is one of the largest salutes to America anywhere. The concert will feature R&B star NE-YO, the three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter-actor-entrepreneur-philanthropist and pop star Kesha. Ne-Yo’s songs have amassed a total of 23 billion streams worldwide. His debut single, 2005’s “So Sick,” topped the Billboard charts, and he has scored global hits ever since. Joining NE-YO and Kesha are Grammy Award®-nominated singer-actor-American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, Philadelphia’s own rapper-writer-activist Chill Moody, and musician-Emmy Award-winning music director-Grammy® Award-winning writer-producer Adam Blackstone and Philadelphia favorites Diamond Kuts and Snacktime, The concert producer is Live Nation. The Fourth of July ends with a flurry of fireworks over the skies of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Free, 7 p.m. EST (Concert), 9:30 p.m. fireworks display. Broadcast live on NBC10 Philadelphia. No formal seating. Stand or BYOC (Bring Your Chair). Before the main concert, from 4 p.m. EST to 6 p.m. EST: DJ Diamond Kuts and Snacktime Philly will perform on the Pennsylvania Lottery Groove Stage, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Free entry to the July 4th Concert & Fireworks; no tickets required. Gates open at 4 p.m. Enter at Logan Circle at 20th Street through the security checkpoint. Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Food trucks, vendors, and jumbo TV screens will be set up along the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. Main concert stage near 25th Street and Eakins Oval. Fireworks show above Philadelphia Museum of Art. Entry to the July 4th Concert & Fireworks is free; tickets are not required. Televised on NBC10 and simulcast, from 6 p.m. EST to 10 p.m. EST, on NBC Sports Philadelphia+. Also, the show will be live-streamed on the NBC Philadelphia News channel on Peacock, Roku, Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Fire TV, Pluto and Xumo Play, and For overall festival details:

The stage is set at Independence Hall.

It’s A Jennifer Holliday On July 4th

Thursday, July 4, 2024. Philly is at front and center stage, as Grammy® Award-winning singer Jennifer Holliday will perform at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony Presented by Freedom Mortgage – the formal kickoff on the final day of the Wawa Welcome America festival. In the past, many world figures like Elton John, Colin Powell, Kofi Annan, and Dr. Jill Biden have graced the stage of this star-studded morning event. The televised ceremony will roll out the red-white-and-blue carpet to observe America’s 248th birthday in the nation’s birthplace. Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker will lead a patriotic program of speeches, community-service award presentations, and musical performances led by Holliday, also a Broadway Tony Award winner. The event is produced by Welcome America Inc., the Office of the City of Representative, and supported by VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. Free, 10 a.m. EST to 11 a.m. EST. Broadcast on NBC10 Philadelphia and streamed on NBCU local platforms later at 6 p.m. EST. Outside of Independence Hall. 6th and Chestnut Streets.


A March In July

Thursday, July 4, 2024. Come on. Who hates a parade? No one ever! Salute to America Independence Day Parade, supported by Freedom Mortgage, will march upon the colonial-era cobblestones of Independence Mall following the City of Philadelphia’s formal Freedom of Celebration Ceremony. The parade will patriotically celebrate America’s storied history, culture, and diversity. Get dazzled by the colorful pageantry of marching groups of schools, the military, and string bands from all over the United States to the Nation of Honduras. Free, 11 a.m. EST. 2nd to Broad and Market Streets (City Hall).

Cliveden Historic Site

A History Lesson….

Thursday, July 4, 2024. Walk through history at the 1767-built Cliveden historic site in the Germantown section of Philly. Learn about more than two centuries of American history through seven generations of the Chew Family and their staff who were enslaved there. It is a candid look at the impact of slavery as represented in one estate household. It is all part of the Wawa Welcome America festival’s Free Museum Days; 10 a.m. EST to 2 p.m. EST. Cliveden (or the Chew House), 6401 Germantown Ave., 215-848-1777 or


WRTI Radio Is Music To Your Ears July 4th

Thursday, July 4, 2024. Listen to public radio at its best when WRTI! Classical goes all out to celebrate America’s birthday. Tune in to hosts John T.K. Scherch, Melinda Whiting, and Meg Bragle who will spin spirited time-honored tunes by John Philip Sousa and Aaron Copland; showpieces by Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, and Antonin Dvorak, Florence Price, Amy Beach, and Samuel Barber. Later in the day, jazz hosts Greg Bryant, Ms. Blue, and Bobbi Booker will pick up the patriotic ball with songs of celebration from Joshua Redman, Jack McDuff, Dave Brubeck, and Brad Mehldau, and reflect on the price of our freedom with music by Abbey Lincoln, Orrin Evans, Peter Bernstein, and Nicole Glover. WRTI 90.1 FM on the radio dial in the Philadelphia area or live-stream on


Music By The Prose

Thursday, July 11, 2024. Lavonne Nichols is always singing – and writing –to a different tune. Nichols’ latest soul-stirring innovation and collaboration will put her at center stage as host-curator of Say Something Good LLC Presents Ink & Sound Unleashed. It’s an event series featuring diverse emerging music artists and authors. Experience the power and inspiration of storytelling by LaQuanda McCoullum and A.B. Bracewell. They will be joined by musicians Noe Feliz and “The Authentic,” whose melodies reflect “triumph and transformation.” Says Nichols: “From heartwarming stories to soulful ballads, “Ink & Sound Unleashed” promises to ignite your passion, uplift your spirit, and inspire you. Check out this extraordinary celebration of creativity, community, and connection.” Nichols is a certified life coach and multi-media communicator. She’s the founder of Say Something Good LLC, an endeavor supporting women's healing journeys. The New Jersey resident is a professional speaker, women’s empowerment and trauma recovery coach, and certified ACEs trainer. She also is a rising recording star who rolled out a dynamic double serving of music and prose at an uplifting concert – Ink & Sound Unleashed: Lavonne Nichols EP and Book Release – in January. “Uncaged” is Nichols’ new book and companion EP, inspired by gospel, R&B, and Afrobeats. $20, 7:30 p.m. EST to 9:30 p.m. EST, World Café Live!, 3025 Walnut St.


45’s Still In Tune 60 Years Later

Saturday-Sunday, July 6 & 7, 2024. Night owls, what are you doing on Saturday? Dust off your old 45’s, and escape into Philly Soul Club, a 60s dance party with the great Todd-O-Phonic Todd! (WFMU) and a few other special guests. Groove to soul and R&B played on 45 RPM, just like 60 years ago when Motown’s The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and The Supremes topped the R&B charts and the jukeboxes. As The Four Tops suggested: “It’s the Same Old Song,” and isn't that far out! Free entry, 9 p.m. EST to 2 a.m. EST. Khyber Pass Pub, 56th S. 2nd St. 215-238-5888 or or